Is HR doing enough to address gender inequality?

 Executive Summary

The aim of the report is to analyze and address the gender inequality issue at the workplace which is still common in the Australian firms. In the report of Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), it is identified that female employee till now receiving the low compensation as compare to male once. In regards to this, the problem is analyzed from different theories such as human capital theory which stated that skills and experience create the differentiation among the gender. While Gender socialization theory explained that both women’s and men are becoming a socialize people which allow bringing equality but at a slow pace. Lastly, gender organization theory explained about the low prevalence of women when it comes to personal growth. Thus, from different theories views, the problem is analyzed. In regards to the problem, various practical solutions are provided in the form of set schedule, the disclosure of salary, management training and provide enough flexibility etc. therefore, this solution could help the HR manager to handle the workplace inequality at different industries.


This paper discusses the problem of gender inequality in the workplace. However, this problem is not limited to the Australian workplace but it is common for every organization. This is true that gender inequality exists in each field whether there is a post of manager, scientist, butcher, baker or even a TV presenter, there is a gender pay gap favoring men. Moreover, it is identified that gender inequality in the workplace affects various females in different ways (Charlesworth et al., 2011). The main way is the achieving low compensation compared to their male peer once. For instance, women with same qualification and experiences are not receiving the promotion because there is a perception that female can’t manage the whole organization or how female perform the activity at outside the workplace. These all conscious minds influence the growth of females. In concern to this, there are various initiatives HR manager generally takes place within the organization. Additionally, this report also addresses the gender inequality problem at the workplace and analyzes such problem with relevant theories (Hutchinson & Eveline, 2010). On that basis, suggest the practical solution. The reason behind to undertake such study is to identify that whether HR manager is really addressing enough a problem of gender inequality.


Identify the Problem

The article of Hilton (2017) addresses the problem of growing gender inequality especially in the area of compensation at the workplace. It is determined that in Australia, still female members receive less pay as compare to male once in every sector whether it is retail, IT, manufacturing and many more. The cause of this is lack of awareness about the women rights. But at the same time, this problem is addressing by the HR manager through conduct the training session or initiate meeting with the female once. Thus, such practice brings improvement at the certain level but the pace of change is still needed to enhance. In this, the acceleration of improvement is considered as the biggest problem in creating awareness of gender inequality (Milner, 2011).

Furthermore, the gender inequality problem can be studied in different forms. Flexibility tends to be the reason why female earn less compared to male once (Klapper & Parker, 2010). It is estimated that male member prefers more of flexibility in the job with less pay while women are willing to work more hours with less pay. Both the gender work in equal hours but still due to men gets high pay due to management has the perception that they can call male member at any time for the overtime working. This practice could be little problematic in the case of women. Thus, the study clearly indicates that perception about the women is the main factor that still creating a gap among the gender at the workplace. This gap reflects more in the form of promotion, salary increment, reward, and recognition. Thus, it becomes important to bring improvement to increase the pace. This can be done through providing opportunities to the female not just as a favour but based on their real skills. This strategy encourages more to the women.

Analyse of Problem with Relevant Gender Inequality Theory

There are different gender inequality theories which hold certain viewpoint about the problem. Likewise in the view of Unger et al., (2011) the human capital theory proves to be quite relevant for the HR manager to study about the problem of gender inequality theory. This theory depicts that inequality between the male and female occur due to the insufficient skills and experiences but not over because of discrimination. It means that organization develops the pay package of an employee based on the skills not upon the gender discrimination. From this theory, it is analyzed that the female employee receives less pay due to the inappropriate skills and experiences as compared to males’ employees. This makes them inefficient to achieve high promotion.

In support to above theory, Shore et al. (2011) mentioned that the diversity management model plays a vital role especially in the case of inequality. However, diversity management promotes two concepts such as equal employment opportunity and affirmative action’s. The equal employment opportunity states gender quality can be reduced through initiate from the reward and payment. It means to provide equal pay to both men and women’s as per their skills and experiences. Other than that, company can manage the diversity in class, gender and culture through take affirmative action’s like promote all the class group in decision making and invite the business meeting in order to increase their participation at workplace.

According to this model, the diversity in the form of gender, culture and class can be eliminated through develop the proper decision in relation to strategic, managerial and operational etc. At the same time, this theory helps in managing the differences and similarity between the employees performance. However, Model also promotes the strategies of business through looking at the company vision, mission, long term and short term objectives etc. thus, the elements of this theory promote the quality in the workplace and reduces the biasness through develop effective working environment (Grusec & Hastings, 2014).

In regards to this theory, it can be interpreted that gender inequality tends to be declining but at the slow pace. The decrement in gender discrimination is only found in the large MNCs but still, it exists in the small organization especially at underdeveloped and developing countries where awareness about the equal right is low. So, it can’t be stated the gender discrimination on the basis of salary, promotion, and opportunities are completely finished because it exists in the number of fields in the various form. It is also true that the females now achieving the higher position with their own quality basis and reduce the inequality in various activities by opting different and tedious field. This model suggests that the problem of inequality is diminishing when socialization becomes more and more.

Lastly, Hatch & Cunliffe (2013) gender organization theory presents the scenario of the workplace. This theory is conventional and based on old facts. It is also used widely by the HR manager to analyze the workplace gender inequality. The gender organization theory mentions that gender inequality is identified from the privilege to men instead of women. It is mainly noticed that manager before allocating the work to members think that tedious and complex work can’t perform by the female member such as field work, manufacturing related work. This limitation also reflects the salary of female employees (Stephens et al., 2012). Thus, these theories provide the different viewpoint on the issue related to gender inequality at the workplace.

Practical Solution to the Problem

In regards to mention issue related to gender discrimination, there are various practical solutions that HR manager needs to adopt for bringing the equality in the workplace. The reduction of biasness is the important element for addressing the gender inequality. It is because the organization which supports the people not based on their skills and experiences won’t survive a long term in the market (Moser, 2012). In practical term, the workplace gender equality is achieved when people can able to access and enjoy the same reward, resources, and opportunities to grow regardless of gender. At the same time, the gender gap in the Australian workforces is still prevalent in the form of women earn less than men. Such issue can be addressed by the following ways:-

  • Salary Openness: The Australian and United States companies also support the fact that salary disclosure is considered as an unethical as per the company norms. But, this is the main element which gives rise to the biases (Ogunniyi, 2015). In practically, it is requiring to eliminating such restriction and allows the gender group to discuss the salary and identify the weakness of each other regarding their performance so that salary could be increased in future.
  • Management Training: The management training is considered as the most effective tool to reduce the inequality in the workplace. The management training promotes the equal rights of the employees (Spurk & Abele, 2011). The management training allows the people to develop the necessary skills in themselves so that they could perform any task. This practice also creates the sense of belongings towards each other. Training helps the people to identify the strength and weakness as per the feedback. This encourages the personnel to perform better and achieves high growth in the form of promotions.
  • Set schedule: The setting of schedule considers as an appropriate method especially in the case of retail or restaurants business. The HR manager needs to set the schedule for the people in a way that work would be done properly. In that case, the manager should prefer first to the female employee as they are the primary parent and they have a responsibility of both works like household and work commitment. So company gives first chance to women’s to select the schedule (Altman, 2010). In a similar manner, the company should provide more flexibility to male once. This strategy helps to satisfy both the gender and promote team spirit at the workplace.
  • Flexibility: enough flexibility could contribute towards the reduction of inequality. This is because flexibility is the requirement of both the gender for their respective purpose (Hill et al., 2010). The flexibility can be provided through implement policies such as allows people to work from home either on full time or time to time basis. Other than that increase the resting time will also allow the people to relax. Thus, flexibility needs to be provided as per the nature of the job. This is the relevant and practical way to reduce the environment of biases which in-short contribute towards gender equality.

 Conclusion & Recommendations

From the above discussion, it is concluded that gender inequality is the common subject which is still prevalent in the workplace. The inequality between the male and female are recognized with the low pay scale of women compared to men. according to human capital theory, the reason would be less and inefficient skill and experience which male member posses. Moreover, the gender socialization theory stated that females and males both are moving towards the socialization space which brings improvement equality but in a slow manner. Gender organization theory shows the discrimination based on the less opportunity, insufficient training session and low wages etc. In concern to this, it is recommended that HR manager should start raising the unconscious biases through set policies and procedure. Likewise, the top manager should develop such rules that IT department need to fill the position with 10 male and 10 females instead of 20 resumes and skill based. Moreover, the company should conduct the meeting on weekly basis, especially for the female members in order to discuss a problem which they face in relation to any male employee, salary and work-related. At the same time, HR manager should ask women also about their interest area like whether they prefer to perform fieldwork. These areas motivate the female employees to develop themselves and create the work-life balance between in their personal and professional lives.


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